A night of Firsts – Dinner at Fuku, Mosman Park.

Hi everyone,

I was invited earlier this year to dine at Fuku as their guest. I should also note here that I do not eat a lot of seafood so my views of the meal were skewed by this however my dining companion S is a lover of sashimi and teppanyaki and overall loved the meal.

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Saki

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I had never tried Saki before and when offered some I quickly accepted. The first saki was a chilled one. I did not know what to expect when trying the saki, however I quite enjoyed the Saki. The second saki came slightly warm in the smaller clay glass and had a very different mouthfeel to the other Saki. For a first impression of Saki, I really enjoyed it and look forward to trying more in the future!

1st Course: Calamari with Herring Roe and Antarctic Ice Crab

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I was quite interested by all the different textures and flavours in this dish. While I was exploring this dish S quickly polished this dish off enjoying it. The seaweed crisps were the highlight for me as I found them very easy to snack on and would make for the perfect studying snack.

2nd Course: Smoked Wagyu, Oyster Tempura, Burdock and School prawn Kakiage.

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The Wagyu in this dish was outstanding! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The oyster was a first and an interesting experience, however I must admit it was not as bad as I had expected, though I think it will take many more tries of oysters before I will become a fan of them.

3rd Course: Sashimi

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Another first and I was in awe of how different the textures of sashimi is compared with smoked and cooked fish. The fish presented on the dish was fresh and delicious and S and I were both impressed. My fist try of sashimi was a good experience and while it will take a few more tries to get used to it I am definitely keen to give sashimi another go.

4th Course: Partridge

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A well flavoured dish that just melted in my mouth! The mushroom in this dish were not your usual mushrooms and their texture and taste were quite different however they worked well to tie this simple dish together.

5th Course: Scollop, prawn & crispy prawn head

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I watched this dish being cooked in layer upon layer of butter and my mouth was watering by the time it was plated up and placed in front of me. On my first bite I was quite impressed with how the butter have a rich flavour to the prawn. S was a big fan of the crispy head of the prawn in this dish.

6th Course: Fish of the day

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I was a little off put by the baby octopus in this dish, however S was most enthralled by it. The zingy citrus sauce in this dish comes from a Japanese fruit and was quite an unusual taste. This sauce added a who new dimension to the dish.

7th Course: Wagyu (full blood) sirloin steak Mayura Station grade 9+, Friend rice with wagyu flavour.

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The waygu in this dish was exceptional! I devoured it quickly and wish there had been more it was tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. Simple flavours, which were well cooked and melted in my mouth. Also the chefs did an exceptional job of cooking this dish including flaming stacks of onion rings and cracking eggs by flipping them into the air and using their spatulas.

8th Course: Yuzu Cheesecake, Chocolate drink and Mountain Peach.

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Lastly came desert. The wasabi cream has a lovely zing to it and the dish as a whole just hit the spot to end the meal. A well arranged dish with a number of unusual and interesting flavours that were brought together so nicely.

Overall I really enjoyed the experience and highly recommend it to anyone who loves Japanese food or is interested in going to an intimate restaurant or for those who have always wanted to see their meal cooked for them. The 3 hours for the meal past in no time as we watched our food being cooked and prepared before our eyes and then eating it while the next course was prepared. The presentation and execution was exceptional. The chefs were fantastic and always happy to help explain a dish for me as were the wait staff. My friend S who came along with me has been to many of the Teppanyaki restaurants in Perth and said Fuku was one of the best she’d been to.

A big thank you to Fuku for inviting me to dine there!

Fuku - Omakase and Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon

Melba, Melbourne

Hi Everyone,

My last night in Melbourne this month was spent having dinner at Melba Restaurant located in the Langham Hotel. The restaurant was buffet styled, however the food on offer ranged from seafood, to pasta prepared to order, roast station, Indian station, made to order sashimi station to a wide selection of cheeses, salads and cold meats. This link will take you to a sample menu for what could be offered for dinner in the buffet at Melba.

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Their selection of cheese’s reminded me of the cheese platter I had at Quarter on Hay in Perth. I thoroughly enjoyed myself with a sample of a small selection of these for a starter while I eyed off the different buffet stations and planned my dinner.

Selection of cheeses.

Selection of cheeses.

I started at the Roast Station where I had a selection of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, vegetables and a selection of sauces to accompany. The meat was cooked well and the selection available led me to grab a small piece of everything I could so I could try as much of what they had as my stomach would take.

Roasted meats station.

Roasted meats station.

There was a sashimi section where you could select from a range of fresh raw fish to have sushi made for you on the spot. I tend to avoid raw fish and so was a little disappointed I could not try any of the tantalising sushi, which I had seen at other tables in the restaurant.

Seafood.

Seafood.

While I was sampling from the roast station others dining with me had headed off to the Indian station for tandoori chicken, saffron rice and naan cooked to order.

After finishing our first plateful we discovered the pasta station where you saw your pasta being cooked in front of you with ingredients of your choice. I wish I had filmed the guy as he casually created a delicious masterpiece for me all the while conversing with me.

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After we had our fill of pasta we intended to get another plate of food however we wandered past the desert station and didn’t manage to make it any further. The variety of deserts available for selection made for a very tough decision, especially when a chocolate fountain was included – I was in desert heaven!

Deserts galore!

Deserts galore!

Selection of deserts from Melba plus cupcakes from Little Cupcakes.

Selection of deserts from Melba plus cupcakes from Little Cupcakes.

For those who love their seafood then this restaurant is one to check out while you’re in Melbourne. There was also a selection of prawns, oysters, crabs, you name it included in the buffet. I’m not a big fan of shellfish and seafood in general so I passed on this selection however the presentation looked fantastic!

Last was the cocktails that we had over the night. While their wine menu had many interesting options I had a quick flick through the cocktail list and saw an Apple Crumbletini and was instantly sold. We also ordered their Strawberries and Cream cocktail and their Passionfruit Mojito. All three cocktails were delicious and a good way to end our time in Melbourne.

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Apple Crumbetini and Strawberries & Cream

Passionfruit Mojito.

Passionfruit Mojito.

Thoroughly enjoyed the meal and will have to return next time I am in Melbourne so that I can attempt to make it to every single station in the restaurant as well as getting the chance to try a few more of their cocktails which looked very tantalising on the menu. Service was also fantastic and the view over the Yarra River and Melbourne at the sun was setting made for a perfect and relaxing end to a quite hectic trip to Melbourne.

Until next time!

Melba Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Wino 101: Christmas Lunch/Dinner Wines (Australian Summer Edition).

Hi everyone,

While the northern hemisphere is rugging up for a cold winter in Australia we will be getting our barbecues and bathers out in expectation of a hot and sunny Christmas Day. This post will hopefully be a good guide for you, whether you are supplying a lunch or dinner at your place of even just bringing a bottle of wine to wherever you end up on the festive occasion. I have broken the wine’s down into different categories of food that is often served in Australia on Christmas Day, along with some personal favourites.

Appetisers:

A nice glass of bubbly is a good way to start off your Christmas Day of feasting.

BBQ:

Consider lighter to medium bodied red wine or an acidic and aromatic white wine or dry Rose will pair across the range of foods you can barbecue. When pairing wine with barbecue you want to keep the wine simple and uncomplicated to match the simple flavouring and styling of food that you would barbecue.

Seafood:

When it comes to seafood you want to pair it with a light wine which has a nice degree of acidity behind it so that you really get the best flavours out of pairing it with the seafood. Look for a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity and crisp Pinot Grigio/Gris or a dry Rose.

Roast Lamb/Beef:

Lamb and Beef being  darker and more dense meats will need a wine with more structure and depth in it so that both the wine and the food will compliment each other rather than one overpowering the other. You will also need to take the sauce(s) you will be using into account as their richness will also impact upon which wine is your best option.

For the meat: a red wine like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon that has seen some age in the bottle as well as having had the chance to breath either in a decanter or by opening the bottle before serving. Also if it is a very hot day think about popping your bottle of red into the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving so that thee wine will be at it’s optimum serving temperature while you eat your meal (15-20C). The wine will also develop over the course of the meal as it warms and you will see it’s aroma’s and taste evolve along with your meal.

Roast Chicken:

A roast chicken being a lighter meat allows you to pair a white or red wine with it, depending upon what seasoning and sauces you. For a roast with a light lemon seasoning look for a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Chenin Blanc or continue with the bubbles.

Roast Pork:

Less tannic reds are preferred when pairing with roast pork as it is a lighter meat than Beef and Lamb and due to that needs to be paired with a more softer wine that still has enough body to pair with the meat. Look for a red blend that contains Merlot or Viognier to soften the wine.

Cheese/Fruit:

Soft cheese = eg. Camembert and Brie

Consider white or sparkling wines, so as to not overpower the softer textures and flavours of the wine, however if you are daring a full bodied dry red is said to also pair nicely due to it’s contrasting texture and flavour.

Hard cheese = eg. Cheddar and Parmesan.

Consider red wines for a stronger tasting cheese otherwise if the cheese is milder in flavour and medium-to-hard texture you can then look into pairing it with a fortified, sparkling or a full bodied white wine.

Eye cheese = ed. Edam, Gouda, Havarti and Swiss-styled cheese.

Consider a full bodied white wine, medium bodied red wine or a sweeter desert or fortified wine to play best with the softer textures of the wine and the stronger flavours found in some of these cheeses.

Blue cheese = eg. Gorgonzola and Danish Blue.

generally sweeter and fortified wines do better with blue cheese, however if it is a mild blue cheese you can possibly pair it with a softer red wine. Look for a wine which is aromatic but sweet to give you the best contrast with the blue cheese.

Fruit: consider aromatic and/or sweeter wines.

Desert:

Fortified, sweet still and sweet sparkling wines would go amazing with desert.

Until next time!